April 14, 2016
Lemon Meringue Pie is my favorite pie of all time. Of course, apple, pecan, cherry, blueberry, chocolate cream, coconut cream – are all my favorites when eating them – but if I was lost on a “Dessert Island” with only one pie to choose, it would be Lemon Meringue.
When I was a little kid, well, I was never little, so when I was a young boy, my mom would take me to the Mass Brothers downtown coffee shop for a slice every couple of months or so – which began my love, my obsession, with this wonderfully tart and sweet dessert.
Believe it or not, this is a simple pie to make…just follow the steps.
Makes 2 (8 inch) pie shells
- 8 jumbo egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice (fresh, never ever bottled)
- 3 cups – plus 1 cup water
- 1 cup corn starch
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon cold butter
- 8 room temperature egg whites
- ½ teaspoons cream of tarter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon high quality vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 sticks ice cold salted butter (cut into small cubes)
- 8 tablespoons ice cold water
STEP ONE (pie crust)
In a Cuisinart put the flour, salt and butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size. Add water and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Roll out on a floured surface.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two pie pans with pie shells. Poke holes with a dinner fork to release air pockets while baking keeping it from puffing up. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the shells are baked and beautifully browned. Cool completely.
STEP TWO (curd)
Whisk egg yolks and fresh lemon juice in a mixing bowl, strain and set aside. You must strain this lemon egg mixture to keep your curd smooth. Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup corn starch and set that aside as well. In a heavy duty saucepan combine 3 cups water with 3 cups sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt, stir over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved and it comes to a boil.
Whisk in cornstarch mixture and continue to whisk until the it becomes clear and thick. Take off stove, slowly whisk in egg yolk lemon mixture. Bring back to the stove and bring to a slight boil. Take off stove and whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
Place in bowl and put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the curd to keep a film from forming. Let cool completely.
STEP THREE (meringue)
After the pie shell(s) and curd have cooled…in the mixer, add egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla, beat with the wire attachment until frothy. Slowly add sugar while mixer is on medium high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
STEP FOUR (assembling & browning the pie)
Fill pie shells with equal amounts of lemon curd. Top with meringue. Smooth or form peaks with a spatula, making sure the meringue touches the edge of the pie shell so the curd is completely covered. Bake until the meringue is nicely brown – approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Watch pie carefully for the meringue can brown quickly.
Cool completely on a wire rack, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I like mine ice cold.
CUTTING THE PIE
To avoid screwing up the meringue, dip a sharp knife in warm water before the first slice, and after each slice thereafter.